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Get your swing ready for the 2011 Masters with these Android golf apps

by Kristen Nicole

It’s a great time of year for golf fans, with the Masters about to kick off. Whether you’re a golf fan anxious to keep up with scores, or an avid golfer yourself, there’s plenty of Android apps you can swing away at. Official golf resources like the Golf Channel have taken to the Android Market, and GPS has proven a useful feature for golf apps, helping you improve your game from the green.

Scores & news updates

Kick things off with the official Masters Golf Tournament app. This Android offering is full of great content about the Masters including real-time scores, comprehensive news and analysis, on-demand video, live radio and course overviews from Augusta, Georgia. Tournament events run from April 4 to April 11, 2011, and if there's one, single essential app you need, it's this one.

The official Golf Channel Mobile app delivers golf news scores, blog posts and analysis from top commentators. Scores are pushed through in real-time, so you’ll stay updated for all the major tours, including the Masters. View top picks before each tournament, and follow breaking news. The free app has quick tabs for scores, videos and photos, and player news.

A golf fan must-have, the PGA Tour Android app is specific to the tournaments, following updates throughout the season. Customize your leaderboard and scorecards, to see news on your players of interest.  Scores are updated in real-time, and special features for player profiles, tournament schedules and course play-by-play details are included in this free app.

BBC+SKY Sports News is an aggregate feed, pulling from these two established news sources. You’ll get full news updates in an easy-to-read mobile format, with search functions to narrow down your news stream. Items can be saved and shared, with filters for news sources and categories, which include golf. This Android app is free.

Related: Swing away all season with these Android baseball apps

Improve your game

SkyDroid Golf GPS is a range-finder for golfers, determining the distance to every green, as well as water hazards and bunkers. You’ll get a lovely satellite view of the golf course, which adds a perspective few golfers have had before the Android came along. Track your shots, map out courses online, and “practice” before you even get to the course. This app is $1.99.

Need the official rules of the game of golf? Settle debates on and off the green, with The Rules of Golf, courtesy of the USGA. The app includes Decisions on the Rules of Golf, and another resource for amateur games, making for a well-aggregated app for any golfer. This handy title costs $3.99, but could prove quite useful during games.

Need more visual tools as you learn the game of golf? The free Pocket Golf Pro app features videos with PGA Tour player Alex Cejka. There’s a handful of lessons from the golf pro, outlining tips for your slice, far hits and putting. This Android app is free, and receives updates from time to time.

Putting time

Tiki Golf 3D is a colorful putt game, with dynamic courses, moving platforms and plenty of obstacles to overcome. The kooky courses add to the fun of this colorful game, and are truly out of this world. There’s an objective behind your course activity, taking you on a green adventure.  This $2.99 game features multiple game modes, leaderboards and bonuses to unlock.

Fun-Putt Mini Golf is a popular mobile golf game, with dozens of holes to play, across three 10-hole courses. Your finger is your putter in this golf game, moving the ball in the desired direction. As in any good golf course, you’ll have to compensate for sand traps, hills and water obstacles. Save your scores and see how low you can go. The full version of Fun-Putt is $1.99.

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